London orchestra plays concert... for plants

Mar 24, 2011

One of Britain's most prestigious orchestras has performed to a rather unusual audience -- row upon row of plants, in an attempt to see whether the music helps them grow.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performed a three-hour recital in Cadogan Hall in London last week, with 33 musicians playing pieces including Mozart's Symphony Number 40, it announced Thursday.

In front of them were more than 100 different varieties of plants and bulbs including geraniums, fuschias and perennials.

"We've played some unusual recitals before but this has to be one of the strangest," said the orchestra's conductor, Benjamin Pope.

"The audience was the most fragrant we have ever played to although it was slightly unnerving to see row upon row of bowed heads instead of applauding human beings.

"Hopefully the sound of classical resonated with the plants and will result in a genuine growth spurt over the spring months."

The recital was organised by shopping channel QVC to test the contested theory that the reverberation of stimulates in plants and may lead to increased growth.

A 45-minute album based on the performance, "The Floral Seasons: Music to Grow To", is available free to download to allow keen gardeners to make up their own minds about its influence.

The are also available to buy.

Explore further: Fewer students study botany, more plant collections closing

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